ScottishPower ploughs £5bn into CCS research

ScottishPower is to invest almost £5bn in the UK’s first alliance between industry and academia to focus specifically on carbon capture and storage. Called the ScottishPower Academic Alliance, the scheme […]

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By Kelvin Ross

ScottishPower is to invest almost £5bn in the UK’s first alliance between industry and academia to focus specifically on carbon capture and storage.

Called the ScottishPower Academic Alliance, the scheme has been designed to match the needs of the UK’s fast developing CCS industry and draws on the research capacity academics from Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh.

It will focus specifically on technical innovation around the capture and offshore storage of CO2, the policy and regulatory aspects of CCS and look at what the UK needs to do to capitalise on the commercial opportunities the technology offers – especially in developing a national skills capacity.

ScottishPower is investing almost £5m over the next five years which will fund up to 12 full-time researchers working at Edinburgh and Imperial.

ScottishPower chief executive Nick Horler said: “This is a terrific step forward for ScottishPower and will help us in our ambitions to make CCS a reality in the UK by 2014. I am enormously proud to be associated with the work of some of the world’s leading authorities on CCS. Their input will be vital to improve our understanding of this essential technology and help us to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle climate change.”

Professor Stuart Haszeldine of Edinburgh university said: “Developing a CCS industry in the UK will capitalise on our established offshore and engineering expertise and make a significant contribution to the economy of the country, creating new jobs and skills.”

Imperial College’s Professor Nigel Brandon added: “CCS is a technology that has a real potential to reduce CO2 emissions globally, but there remain a number of technological, political and economic challenges to be overcome if this technology is to be widely adopted.”

ScottishPower is the only energy company in the UK which is capturing carbon on a working coal-fired power station. This programme is helping to prove the chemistry of carbon capture and uses the same technology that can be retrofitted to the tens of thousands of coal-fired power stations worldwide.